Judge Tells Amazon and Toys ‘R’ Us To Play Nice

Aug 13, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

New Jersey State Superior Court Judge Margaret McVeigh has had enough of the squabbling going on between Amazon.com and Toys “R” Us.

In a hearing yesterday, the judge ordered the companies to get their technical staffs together to make sure holes in programming do not allow others to sell goods on Amazon prohibited by the $50 million a year marketing deal between the parties.

Michael Dockterman, attorney for Toys “R” Us, said the retailer took this action because it is concerned that when Amazon launches its graphical user interface technology in the near future, hundreds of other retailers will be able selling the same items.

“We are supposed to get first crack at any toy that anyone else wants to put up on the site,” he told the Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ. “That is what we pay $50 million a year for.”

Amazon.com attorney, David Goodnight, said Toys “R” Us expecting a 100 percent foolproof system for keeping products off the site covered by the agreement was akin to asking the toy retailer to guarantee it would eliminate all shoplifting.

Moderator’s Comment: Do you have any insights into
the dispute between Amazon and Toys R Us? How will the difficulties encountered
between Amazon and TRU impact how other future “exclusive marketing” deals are

Judge McVeigh ordered Amazon to pay the court costs for
yesterday’s hearing and has said she will fine it $1,000 for each exclusive
Toys “R” Us product being sold by another vendor if it is not removed within
24 hours of posting.

George Anderson – Moderator

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